Kuusamo World Cup

Lenny ValjasNovember 26, 2010

 After last Sunday’s race in Rovaniemi, our team hit the road on our way to the Kuusamo WC mini-tour starting on friday.
This was my first European World Cup race of my life!
This course suited me really well, it had two really big climbs and a tough double polling finish.
I had one goal today, and that was to qualify.
The night before the race, I spent some time looking at classic sprint videos from Kuusamo from the year before. I was able to see how the best sprinters in the world ski this course. This really helped me, I had a good game plan and was ready to test it out.
I wasn’t feeling very nervous for this race. It was really weird actually. I woke up in the morning and felt like it was just another day. Maybe since it was my first Euro WC race, I didn’t have anything to prove.
Anyways, after a long cold warm-up(-17C), I was ready to tear this course up. I felt great during the qualifier, I saved a bit of jam for the last giant uphill and skied the last part of the course really well. I was pumped to hear over the loudspeaker that I crossed the finish line in 16th place. I ended up 19th after all the skiers had finished!
It was a really close race, I was about a second from both the top 10 and 30th place. Pretty crazy.
4 other Canadians qualified for the heats! Alex 9th!, Stef 26th, Devon30th, and Dasha.
new Canadian record to have 5 canadians finish in the top 30? could be…

I had a tough quarter-final heat. It was a fast and close heat, it came down to the wire at the end. I was in a sprint finish with 3 other guys. But because I came around the last corner in last I was not able to make the pass. I fell a couple feet short of moving on to the next round. It was a tough way to end the day. Alex ended up moving on to the semis and finishing 9th overall! Awesome to see live!
I am getting ready to race day 3 of the 3 day mini tour. Tomorrow is a 10km classic race. They are calling for -22C overnight.

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